Referendum for young voters

The Scotsman reports that the Scottish Government has announced 16 and 17-year-olds are to be given a vote in the independence referendum it intends to hold next year.

As the idea of lowering the voting age to 16 has been supported by Liberal Democrat, Labour and Plaid AMs I wonder if they might consider lobbying for 16 & 17 year olds to be given the right to vote in the Government of Wales Act referendum.


  1. That's a really cunning move by the Scots Government.

    As far as Wales is concerned, I would love for as many people to be included in a decision as possible.

  2. Cunning is the wrong word – my understanding is that the SNP (as I do) believe in the principle of the voting age being lowered to 16 full stop. Why that is somehow wrong for the SNP to act out that belief in the referendum I just don’t see?

    I might be wrong as my Scottish knowledge is hazy, but they don’t have the power to lower if for the General election? So this vote being proposed will be the first vote they could make the change to. Seems entirely consistent to me.

  3. The cunning comment arises because there is some polling evidence that younger Scottish voters are more likely to be supportive of independence than older ones, so the suggestion is that by lowering the voting age the SNP is expanding the pool of potential supporters.

    What is not so cunning is the opponents of independence trying to stop the referendum from happening now. If the SNP is delayed from holding its desired referendum until 2016 say, then not only will those who are 15 years old now be able to vote but those who are only 8 or 9 now will also be able to vote.

    I have no idea what affect lowering the voting age might have on a Welsh referendum or which side would benefit, I support lowering the voting age in general, and if Scottish 16 year olds are allowed to vote on their constitutional future then Welsh 16 year olds should be afforded the same privilege as a matter of principal.

  4. Alwyn,

    Fair cop, I knew that. But it is not like the SNP have done a volte face in light of that evidence, they have called for the voting age to be lowered, in Government they sought to do so.

    Ironically you would imagine that 16-17 year old will be the people who are probably ripe to consider such a move for the future of Scotland.

    The basis I use is that if you can pay tax and fight wars – you should be able to vote.